It’s been a year of spiritual exploration for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m participating in the Academy of Intuition’s Here and Now program, which I must heartily recommend as life-changing. I’m practicing truly being in the moment:
- Redirecting my attention from my thoughts to the feelings in body,
- Tuning in to the one energy that animates and connects us all (humans, trees, animals, you name it)
- Slowing down, instead of rushing always to the next thing, or “just getting through it”
- Appreciating fully every gift, from a person’s kindness to the way my limbs move to the soft breeze on my skin
We humans often turn to spirituality when life gets especially hard. I used to think that was a crutch, in the pejorative sense of the word — something weak people leaned on in desperation. Now I see it as a crutch in the most positive sense of the word: A tool that helps to support you when you need it. Is someone with a broken leg more virtuous for eschewing crutches? Or is she foolish for failing to use a tool that could help her walk? Similarly, are we as humans with our hurting souls somehow superior for judging spirituality as unprovable nonsense, or foolish for ignoring a support system that can help us live more joyously?
It’s been a hell of a year. I feel menaced daily with He Who Shall Not Be Named in the White House, sick with worry about the state of humanity. I got laid off for the first time in my life, from a job I relocated my family for, and I haven’t worked in six months (although I just got a gig — hooray!). My five-year-old daughter has struggled with behavioral issues and Jordan and I have struggled to parent her. My high-maintenance rescue dog has tested my patience daily.
I realize and am grateful for the incredible privilege I experience relative to so many others, and still — it’s been a hell of a year. It makes sense to me that this is the year that spirituality has taken center stage for me.
I don’t believe in “God” — the word is distant to me, not close like the words “love” or “universe.” But I believe in a powerful spiritual current that can be felt but not proven, that I realize is what some people call “God.” And learning to access this current, within and around me, has in some ways become the most central focus of my life. Call it magic, because that’s how it feels, when the energy of love rushes through me, when I tune in to the deepest part of myself and savor the rewards that come from honoring what feels true to me.
Nature helps me get there. Right now I’m sitting on my parents’ screened in porch, overlooking Belfast Harbor in Maine. I hear water coursing rhythmically against rocks, buoys ringing like bells, birdsong. I feel that the energy in my parents’ garden and the trees all around us is the same energy that makes me, that makes my husband sitting next to me, the flowers from the farmers market in the vase on the table in front of me, my exhausted dog curled up and napping. We are all one. The physical spaciousness and intimacy with nature of this place helps me feel all of it, helps me be here, now.
There is nowhere else I’d rather be.